NFL Defensive Rookies Of Week 13: Powered By Panini

Life in the NFL is hard, as rookies everywhere are finding out after their first taste of action. While in your typical year rookies have the preseason to be phased into the realm of professional football, the rookie class of 2020 has to endure a baptism by fire. We're playing for keeps right out of the gate.

Which rookie performers were able to make the most of their action in Week 13? We, along with our partners at Panini, are recognizing the best of the best each week. Here are the Defensive Rookies of the Week from each conference for Week 13 of the 2020 NFL season.

AFC DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK

LB Kenneth Murray, Los Angeles Chargers

The Los Angeles Chargers have had a forgettable season, to say the least. Especially with their 45-0 loss on Sunday to the underperforming New England Patriots. However, there is optimism in Los Angeles due to the play of their stud rookies. On Sunday, Kenneth Murray had himself a day. He had 14 total tackles (12 solo), two tackles for loss, and one sack. He’s had a solid rookie season and has certainly had some ups and downs, including being benched for Denzel Perryman earlier in the year. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley has tried to minimize his responsibility to get him to play faster and he has responded well. Murray’s also provided outstanding leadership as a rookie. He looks to build on this performance next week as the Chargers host the Atlanta Falcons

NFC DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK

CB Cameron Dantzler, Minnesota Vikings

During the Minnesota Vikings’ clutch victory on Sunday, a standout was rookie defensive back Cameron Dantzler. Ironically, he wasn’t Minnesota’s first defensive back chosen. However, since he earned a significant role coming out of training camp, he has made steady strides as a contributor. On Sunday he had four total tackles, one interception, one fumble recovery, and one critical forced fumble from Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Chris Conley. Dantzler’s interception was the first for a Minnesota cornerback all year, solidifying the confidence Mike Zimmer had in him to play him early in his rookie season. His interception was at a critical moment in the game which seemed to ignite the entire team. Dantzler became the only NFL rookie to have an interception, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery in the same game. 

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The Draft Network

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